Money, sex & power. These three terms more often than not conjure up images of power-hungry mafia men or celebrities gone wild. But are money, sex, and power always things and actions that should be viewed as entirely carnal? Perhaps it is our approach to these issues of life that has gone awry. John Piper in his helpful new book titled Living in the Light: Money, Sex & Power, explores the proper biblical approach of how the believer should understand these terms in light of how God intends them to be experienced.
Piper aptly starts off the book in the introduction with a vitally important declaration: “God did not conceive and create money, sex, and power simply to be a temptation. He had good purposes in mind.” But wait you might say. Isn’t for instance money the root of all evil? Doesn’t absolute power corrupt absolutely? Isn’t sex and the desire for sex being dirty minded? These are all valid questions and in part representative of the misunderstanding we have about money, sex, and power mainly due to one underlying reality Piper clearly points out, again in the introduction – “human beings have exchanged the glory of God for images.” It is these images that so often consume us to the point where we misappropriate the use of money, sex, and power for personal gain and selfish desires rather than for the glory of God.
Reorienting ourselves to a correct use and approach to these three realities of life is the overall purpose of why Piper writes this book. Since we have such a problem in our world today with properly dealing with money, keeping sex in its proper context, and the abuse of power, a book such as this which points people to the correct path in their life and in how they deal with money, sex, and power to the glory of God, in building up the body of Christ, and in loving our neighbor is a welcome sight and a welcome read. Even within the realm of Christianity, there are far too many works that glorify the pursuit of money as if the obtaining of it is evidence of God’s favor (i.e. the prosperity gospel), sexual issues plague the church and power…well, we all abuse it at one time or another for personal gain.
The aspect of this book I most appreciated is the focus by Piper on restoration, namely realigning ourselves to how God desires us to understand money, sex, and power. His original intent was for sex to be a beautiful experience between a husband and a wife. Sin marred it. God commanded man to fill the earth and subdue it or better yet to have dominion over the earth. This involves leadership. Sin marred that as well.
Money in and of itself is just the means by which we obtain what we need and what we desire in life. Sin marred it to be the pursuit of money and things while many in the world suffer starvation and neglect. There is a better way and Piper concludes this book with some helpful discussion of what God says in His Word should be our focus when it comes to money, sex, and power. As Piper is known to do, he focuses on God-centered joy. If we seek after God, our dealings when it comes to the subject of this book will be proper focused and aligned.
This is an excellent read and an important book in a day and age when the world around is on the no clue canoe when it comes to a correct system of belief in regards to money, sex, and power. As believers, we can take to heart the encouraging and insightful discussion by John Piper in this book as we assess our lives to ensure we are living to the glory of God with our finances, our leadership roles at home, work, church, or elsewhere, and how we control lustful behavior. I highly recommend this latest effort by John Piper and encourage you to give it a read and take to heart the godly principles contained in its pages.
I received this book for free from The Good Book Company via Cross Focused Reviews and the opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”